"The Great Gatsby" will kick off the 66th Cannes Film Festival.
It's fitting that the film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel will open the South of France gathering. Its author spent large swaths of the "Jazz Age" among the American expatriate community in Paris and the French Riviera, rubbing fountain pens with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein.
Not that the new take on the oft-adapted novel is expected to be slavish. Australian director Baz Luhrmann is no stranger to dusting off a classic and injecting it with some modern sizzle — some find the results in films like "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" to be electrifying, others complain that they are stultifying. This time, he'll be driving those boats against the current in glorious 3D to see if a format that is most commonly employed with superhero blockbusters can enliven prestige projects. For good measure, there's also an appearance by Jay-Z.
"We are thrilled to return to a country, place and festival that has always been so close to our hearts, not only because my first film 'Strictly Ballroom' was screened there 21 years ago, but also because F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote some of the most poignant and beautiful passages of his extraordinary novel just a short distance away at a villa outside St. Raphael," Luhrmann said in a statement.
The curtain will rise on his latest effort, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as his Daisy, on Wednesday, May 15, in the Grand Théâtre Lumière of the Palais des Festivals. It will play out of competition as part of the Official Selection.
Produced by Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, the film will premiere in the United States on May 10. It was originally scheduled to hit theaters last Christmas, but was delayed.
The opening will mark DiCaprio's first time at Cannes since the 2007 presentation of his environmental documentary "The 11th Hour."